Pan-american Conference to Study Post-war Immigration Opens in Mexico This Week

war immigration into the Americas will be canvassed at the first Pan-American Demographic Conference called by Mexican President Avila Camacho for Oct. 12 to 20, and the broad field of population questions will be examined.

The United States will be represented by Lowell J. Reed, head of the health and hygiene department at Johns Hopkins University; Earl G. Harrison, United States Immigration Commissioner, and two members of the staff of the United States Embassy here.

President Avila Camacho in inviting delegates from all American countries at war with Germany said that one of the tasks of the conference will be “to find a way by which the influx of people from more advanced civilizations will not displace the native populations or subjugate them economically.”

Twelve commissions meeting in Mexico City’s Palace of Fine Arts will cover the following ground: A statistical survey of the foreign population throughout the Americas, including surveys of education, religion and language; special surveys of immigrants’ biological, cultural and other social influences on native populations; studies of their assimilation and participation in local political, social, cultural and economic groups; programs for the extension of assimilation.

A survey of the conditions under which post-war immigration can be carried out will be made with reference to such factors as physical and professional capacities, economic resources for investment, financing of transportation and maintenance, and the possibilities of assimilation. The question of strengthening the economic position of the backward countries through immigration will receive considerable attention.

A special commission will study the fusion of different races known as “mestizaga” and the question of race prejudice. Considerable attention will be directed to the problem of limiting immigrant families through eugenics, and to matters of social adaptation and biological influence of environment.

A section dealing with “demographic policy” will collect data on the willingness and capacity of all New World governments to receive immigrants in the postwar period. Suggestions will be received for international governmental coordination of such immigration and its distribution and redistribution among various countries.

Officials of the congress point out: “It is logical to suppose that Europeans fleeing from war’s aftermath will look eagerly towards the hospitable countries of America. Among the duties and rights of the American nations at war with the Axis are the obligation to take forethought of the serious post-war problems and the right to unify the national economy of each country within a continental and world plan, fostering a harmonious growth that will prevent the outbreak of contradictions fomented by pathological nationalist tendencies.”

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